Georgia Nursing Schools and Programs

by NurseJournal Staff

Georgia needs passionate nurses to reverse a statewide shortage. This guide explores Georgia nursing programs and outlines state requirements and salaries.

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Georgia Nursing Schools and Programs

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Georgia has experienced a nursing shortage that follows an unfortunate global trend. In fact, employers in Georgia could see a nursing shortfall of 2,200 from 2020-2030, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS also identified Georgia as one of the top seven U.S. states in need of nurses, projecting a 2.2% nursing shortage from 2020-2030.

Nurses take many paths to begin their careers. The education and license you pursue depends on your career goals. This page explores nursing programs in Georgia and outlines state requirements and salary averages for nursing careers.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing programs in Georgia, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about the best BSN programs in Georgia, or go straight to our list of the best NP programs in Georgia.

Featured Online Programs

The Best Nursing Programs in Georgia

Georgia Southern University true View School Profile $$$ Statesboro, GA 50% 53% 35% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Georgia Southern offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education. The four-year program prepares prelicensure nursing students with a curriculum that consists of clinical experience, simulation labs, and diligent academic education.

The BSN program at Georgia Southern requires 124 credit hours earned in person at the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses. Course requirements include skills and essentials of nursing practice, adult health, and pharmacology. Students must also pass two standardized exit exams to graduate.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Armstrong, Georgia and Statesboro, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (program), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
  • Tuition: $182 per credit for Georgia residents; $643 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Must achieve a cumulative score of at least 75% on the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.2% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Emory University true View School Profile Atlanta, GA 90% 31% 9% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

One of the best nursing schools in Georgia, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory offers a CCNE-accredited bachelor of science in nursing program.

Once accepted, students first complete two years of general education. Students may apply to the nursing program while the prerequisites are in progress. Before enrolling in the BSN program, students must complete the required courses before the fall semester of junior year. Prerequisites include general chemistry 1 with lab as well as human anatomy and physiology.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $2,211 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Must achieve a cumulative score of at least 75% on the HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.26% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Kennesaw State University true View School Profile $$$ Kennesaw, GA 43% 49% 42% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Located in Atlanta, Kennesaw State enrolls 41,000 students with over 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. The Wellstar School of Nursing at Kennesaw State offers traditional and accelerated CCNE-accredited bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

Ideal for students pursuing a career as a registered nurse, individuals who already have a bachelor's degree may participate in the four-semester accelerated program. A traditional BSN takes four years to complete. The curriculum includes general courses in humanities, biological and social sciences, and the theoretical and clinical practice background necessary for professional nursing.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $185 for Georgia residents; $654 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Enrolled in at least 3 semesters, complete 7/12 prerequisites
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years (traditional) 4 semesters (accelerated)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98.51% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Georgia State University true View School Profile $$ Atlanta, GA 54% 54% 28% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

With six campuses across metro Atlanta, Georgia State offers an innovative learning experience in an urban setting. Providing education to a diverse student body of 54,000, Georgia State's Byrdine S. Lewis College of Nursing houses one of the most competitive BSN nursing programs in Georgia.

CCNE-accredited, the bachelor's program teaches undergraduate students the essentials of nursing care with in-classroom education and simulation labs. Designed for first-time nurses, individuals may choose from traditional and ACE (fast-track) degree options. The RN to BS option provides an ideal program for practicing registered nurses with either an associate degree or diploma in nursing.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $298 for Georgia residents; $932 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 3.30 GPA, pass the Test Essential Academic Skills-TEAS
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years (traditional) 4 semesters (accelerated)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.41% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Georgia College & State University true View School Profile $$$$ Milledgeville, GA 64% 44% 25% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

As Georgia's designated public liberal arts school, Georgie College provides a unique learning experience. It was founded in 1889 as a women's educational center and currently registers just under 6,000 undergraduate students.

The School of Nursing offers a competitive bachelor of science in nursing with a 99% first-time pass rate on licensure exams. The BSN program prepares students for a career as a registered nurse. Built on a two-year liberal arts education, the nursing degree at Georgia College provides essential knowledge and skills necessary for success in the healthcare field.

To apply, students must submit a plan for completing core requirements before the first day of class in the BSN program.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $250 per credit for Georgia residents; $889 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Complete a minimum of two required sciences courses and provide proof of current enrollment in one additional science course
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Wesleyan College View School Profile Macon, GA 52% 49% 14% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded in 1836 as the Georgia Female College in Macon, Wesleyan provides a private liberal arts education to women with a campus located on 200-acres of woods. With 700 students representing 20 countries, Wesleyan welcomes a culturally diverse student body.

The bachelor of science in nursing degree program prepares individuals seeking a career as a professional nurse. Graduates learn to function in settings such as in-patient hospitals, long-term care facilities, and outpatient clinics.

A low student-to-faculty ratio guarantees individualized attention in traditional classroom settings. Wesleyan's advanced simulation lab helps students develop essential skills using clinical scenarios to prepare students for real patient encounters.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Macon, Georgia
  • Type: Private, Women's
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $23,990 per year
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of all concentration classes, cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all pre-nursing general education core and concentration classes, and a satisfactory score on the Health Education System, Inc. (HESI) Admission Assessment Exam (A2).
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.36% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of West Georgia View School Profile $$$ Carrollton, GA 42% 59% 59% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

UWG provides public education to those looking to pursue careers in various subjects across more than eighty-five degrees and majors. The Tanner Health System School of Nursing Undergraduate Program at UWG offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree on two different campuses. The main campus in Carrollton offers an accelerated six-semester program, and the Newnan campus offers an eight-semester program.

Designed for individuals with no previous registered nurse (RN) licensure, this traditional track prepares eligible nursing students for the national licensing exam. Prospective students must have a 3.0 GPA or better and pass the HESI A2 Entrance Exam the first time.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Carrollton, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $2,186 for Georgia residents; $7,712 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Must pass the (first time) and minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 6 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: $85.45% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of North Georgia View School Profile $$ Dahlonega, GA 34% 33% 26% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Designated as a State Leadership Institution and The Military College of Georgia, UNG enrolls about 20,000 students each year. The school offers more than 100 programs in associate, baccalaureate, master, education specialist, and doctoral degrees.

One of the traditional BSN programs in Georgia, the SACSCOC-accredited bachelor of science in nursing degree at UNG, builds a liberal arts and science foundation as core prerequisites. After two years, students accepted into the BSN program begin rigorous coursework and health labs. Students gain knowledge and learn the skill necessary to become professional nurses in community settings of all types.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Type: Public, Senior Military
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $3,730 for Georgia residents; $10,810 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA, 30+ credit hours with grade C or better, and pass the Health Education Systems. Inc. (HESI) Admission Assessment (A2) Exam
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98.68% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Mercer University View School Profile Macon, GA 66% 65% 23% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

With four campuses across Georgia, Mercer finds its roots in Macon, Georgia dating back to 1833. This institution now consists of twelve schools and colleges, enrolling approximately 9,000 students each year. The Mercer College of Nursing, located at the Atlanta campus, offers a competitive and affordable bachelor of nursing degree.

Individuals can pursue the Traditional Prelicensure BSN track. The degree consists of a four-semester curriculum and 57 credit hours of general liberal arts education designed to create a core foundation for students pursuing careers in the nursing field. This BSN program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN exam required for licensure.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing - prelicensure BSN track
  • Campus: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $24,826 per year
  • Admission Requirements: Must pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) test
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 semesters or 57 credit hours
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.23% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Dalton State College View School Profile $ Dalton, GA 22% 21% 23% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded in 1963, Dalton State is a relatively new public institution dedicated to innovative learning and forward-thinking. Enrolling roughly 5,000 students every school year, Dalton State offers a wide range of bachelor's programs, associate's degrees, and career certificate programs.

The registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (RN to BSN) program provides hands-on clinical experience skills and knowledge necessary to enter a Master's in Nursing program. Available in an online format, students must also participate in off-line clinical rotations. This is one of the most affordable nursing schools in Georgia and the degree takes no more than 2-3 semesters to complete. It is ideal for individuals who want to advance their careers while managing personal and family life.

  • Program: RN to Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Dalton, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $107 per credit for Georgia residents; $395 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Graduate from an ASN or Diploma program within the past four (4) years or from an ASN or Diploma program more than four (4) years ago with documentation of recent practice
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2-3 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.74% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Valdosta State University View School Profile $$ Valdosta, GA 42% 62% 51% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Located in Southern Georgia, VSU provides a comprehensive range of programs to earn associates, bachelor's, master and doctoral degrees. Sitting just fifteen minutes from the state line, VSU offers in-state tuition to South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia residents.

VSU's College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a CCNE-accredited bachelor's of science in nursing program. This dedicated faculty prepares students for entry-level professional nursing with a 120-credit hour curriculum.

Sixty of these credit hours consist of nursing courses taken during junior and senior years. Prerequisite core courses include Introductions to Anatomy and Physiology, Human Development, and General Psychology.

  • Program: Basic pre-licensure bachelor's of science in nursing program
  • Campus: Valdosta, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $182 per credit for Georgia residents; $643 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: 2.8 overall grade point average and a 3.0 nursing certification grade point average
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 120 credit hours
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.1% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College View School Profile $ Tifton, GA 22% 38% 28% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Established in 1908, ABAC enrolls less than 4,000 students annually, allowing faculty to provide individualized attention and instruction for each student. ABAC's School of Nursing hosts its competitive RN to BSN program.

Designed to provide an opportunity for registered nurses with associates of science in nursing (ASN) degrees, students may complete coursework online. Nurses often pursue a BSN to continue to graduate school and manage careers as nurse practitioners, midwives, administrators, and educators. The RN to BSN program allows for a flexible schedule to fit the needs of the student's personal and professional lives.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing - R.N. to B.S.N. track
  • Campus: Tifton, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $1,602 per semester for Georgia residents; $5,918 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Admission to ABAC
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 120 credit hours
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.53% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Berry College View School Profile Mount Berry, GA 66% 52% 1% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Established as a junior college in 1926, Berry traces its roots back to Martha Berry. In 1902, Berry's generous donations of land facilitated the foundation of the Boys Industrial School by Berry's. Later, in 1909, Berry further encouraged the establishment of the Martha Berry School for Girls, which led to the eventual co-educational experience students participate in today.

Berry College offers a bachelor's of science in nursing program, however, nursing students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Courses in Berry's diverse nursing curriculum include pathophysiology, cross-cultural immersion, and evidence-based practice. With a combination of traditional coursework and hands-on experience, the program prepares students for work in the nursing field.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Mount Berry, Georgia
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $615 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum GPA of 2.8, then 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 92 credit hours
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.3% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Clayton State University View School Profile $$ Morrow, GA 30% 55% 54% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded in 1969 as a junior college, CSU did not offer a four-year degree until 1986. Comprising four colleges and one school, it provides educational experiences for a diverse student body of approximately 6,000.

From the College of Health, Clayton State offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree for students interested in obtaining RN licensure. The full-time program begins each fall and spring. It requires students to rotate clinical experience in real-life settings at hospitals and other medical facilities. Pre-nursing students must also complete prerequisites in general academic courses as well as nursing-related classes.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing - basic licensure track
  • Campus: Morrow, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $169 per credit for Georgia residents; $616 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: College grade point average (GPA) of 2.80 on a 4.00 scale, and completion of 45 semester hours of BSN core curriculum with grades of C
  • Minimum Time Commitment: After prerequisites, 4 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.91% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
College of Coastal Georgia View School Profile $$ Brunswick, GA 23% 37% 46% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Located on the southeast Atlantic Coast between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, the CCGA offers affordable and accessible education. The bachelor of science in nursing at CCGA prepares students to enter the nursing field in various settings and health care specialties.

Successful students may take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for entry into practice in any state. Prospective students must complete sixty credits hours of the core curriculum to qualify for the BSN program. Students build this educational foundation with courses in the humanities, sciences, social studies, and behavioral studies during their freshman and sophomore years.

  • Program: Bachelor in science of nursing - concentration in pre-licensure BSN
  • Campus: Brunswick, Georgia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $107 per credit for Georgia residents; $395 per semester for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum GPA of 2.8 and complete all core courses prior to entering the nursing program
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 120 credit hours
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Georgia

Georgia requires that prospective registered nurses complete an undergraduate degree or diploma. Graduates can apply for licensure through the Georgia Board of Nursing after passing the NCLEX-RN exam. The board processes new applicants within 15 business days.

Georgia, much like most other states, operates as a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state. Compact states allow nurses who live in Georgia to practice in other states with one license — often called a multi-state license. This allows Georgia nurses to work across state lines without having to apply for licensure or pay additional state fees. Only active nurses who live in a compact state like Georgia qualify for a multi-state license.

Becoming a Registered Nurse in Georgia

Becoming an RN in Georgia requires earning an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's in nursing degree (BSN). Both degrees qualify prospective nurses to take the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for a Georgia nursing license.

Earning a BSN and an RN license serves as a prerequisite to becoming a nurse practitioner, a type of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). Becoming an APRN brings more responsibility, such as creating patient care plans, but the job also comes with a larger salary.

APRNs can further validate their aptitude in a specialty area by earning a certificate to become a clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse midwife. Nurse anesthetists in Georgia make a median hourly wage of $33.48, and nurse midwives earn $44.50 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

RN Program Requirements:

  • Application Requirements: Background check and fingerprinting; 3.0 GPA or better, high school transcripts, high school diploma or GED diploma
  • How Long To Complete: 2-4 years, depending on the type of degree
  • Accrediting Bodies: Georgia Board of Nursing

Georgia Licensure Requirements:

  • Education: ADN or BSN degree
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years by January 31
  • Continued Education: 20 hours

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Georgia

It takes a master's in nursing (MSN) degree or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) to become an NP in Georgia. As RNs advance to become NPs, they can expect a salary boost, greater responsibilities, and the chance to work in a specialty area, such as pediatrics or women's health.

According to the BLS, Georgia employs approximately 8,120 NPs, 560 nurse anesthetists, and 420 nurse midwives. Most of these nurses work in Atlanta, where employers staff about 4,740 NPs, who earn a median annual salary of $106,220.

Georgia provides APRN authorization after nurses receive a national certification. APRNs, such as NPs, specialize in acute care, adult nursing, family practice, gerontology, pediatrics, women's health, or neonatal nursing.

NP Program Requirements:

  • Application Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA; master's degree; and two reference letters
  • Program Length: About two years for an MSN or a DNP; hybrid programs may require less time
  • Accrediting Bodies: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation; National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

Georgia APRN Authorization Requirements:

  • Education: Accredited MSN or other graduate degree; college transcripts; RN license
  • Exams: National certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the National Certification Corporation, the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board, the American Midwifery Certification Board, or the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years by January 31
  • Continued Education: Depends on national certification agency requirements

The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Georgia

Georgia College and State University true View School Profile Milledgeville, GA

Milledgeville-based Georgia College offers an online master of science in nursing with a family nursing practice concentration for aspiring nurse practitioners. The program comprises 40 credits. Full-time students can graduate within six semesters, while part-time students complete the program in nine semesters.

Foundational coursework covers advanced concepts like pharmacology and pathophysiology. Courses within the family nurse practitioner concentration focus on care for different demographics, such as primary care for women, adolescents, and children. Learners must also complete in-person supervised clinical hours during their practicums. Each student must also maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate.

Campus: Milledgeville, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $544/credit hour

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with at least a 2.75 GPA; current nursing license; at least one year of nursing experience

Minimum Time Commitment: 6 semesters (24 months with summer semesters)

On-Campus Requirements: Yes

Program: MSN - Family nursing practice

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Columbus State University true View School Profile Columbus, GA

Columbus State runs an online master of science in nursing program with a family nurse practitioner track. Courses focus on health assessment and promotion for nurse practitioners. Although enrollees complete coursework entirely online through an asynchronous format, they must also fulfill 765 clinical hours of supervised work. CSU allows distance learners to practice their clinical hours at local facilities.

The full program consists of 44 credits, which students can complete in five semesters, or two years. To complete the program, each learner needs to earn a 3.0 GPA.

Campus: Columbus, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $385/credit hour

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three recommendation letters

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Family nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Valdosta State University true View School Profile Valdosta, GA

The master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner specialization at VSU operates as a hybrid program. Distance learners complete several course components online, but they must also attend five weekend class meetings during the semester. Therefore, this program works best for students who live around the Valdosta area.

The full program comprises 50 credits of coursework, and students must participate in 715 supervised clinical hours. Courses include advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, in addition to practicums in pediatrics and women's health. The full program lasts seven semesters for full-time students, and learners who enroll in summer terms can graduate in 2.5 years.

Campus: Valdosta, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $293/credit for online courses; $316/credit for in-state students; $1,144/credit for out-of-state students

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three recommendation letters; GRE or MAT scores

Minimum Time Commitment: Seven semesters, or 2.5 years

On-Campus Requirements: Yes

Program: MSN - Family nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Clayton State University true View School Profile Morrow, GA

At Clayton State University, students can enroll in a 47-credit online master of nursing program with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The curriculum focuses on health promotion, pharmacology, and practicums covering focusing on various demographics.

Aside from the 585 clinical hours onsite at healthcare facilities, the program operates entirely online. Courses require at least one synchronous meeting through distance learning, requiring students to log on at specific times. Distance learners may need to participate in class discussions or make presentations through webcams or headsets.

Finally, the university offers grants and loan forgiveness to help students manage costs.

Campus: Morrow, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $385/credit

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; 1-2 years of nursing experience; three recommendations; statement of purpose; on-campus interview

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Family nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Georgia Southwestern State University true View School Profile Americus, GA

GSW offers an online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner specialization. Courses include advanced practice pharmacology, diagnostic and clinical reasoning for advanced practice nurses, and classes focusing on caring for specific demographics.

Students take theory courses online and complete the 765 required clinical hours in-person at local healthcare facilities. Learners complete a certain number of clinical hours every semester. GSW organized the program so that students can graduate in four semesters or two years. Those enrolled part time can finish within 2.5 years if they take classes during the summer term.

Campus: Americus, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $385/credit hour

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three recommendation letters

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Family nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Kennesaw State University View School Profile Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State's master of science in nursing degree includes a primary care nurse practitioner track for aspiring advanced practice nurses. Students can add a further concentration in either family care or primary care residency.

For the primary care residency, students dedicate several practicum courses to working with licensed nurse practitioners or physicians in a healthcare setting. The family care track focuses on clinical management for adults, children, and reproductive health.

The full program comprises 40 credits, but students can transfer up to nine credits from a previous graduate nursing program. Learners must also complete 630 hours of clinical experience.

Campus: Kennesaw, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Tuition: $588/credit

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; at least one year of nursing experience; two recommendations; statement of purpose

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Primary care nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Albany State University View School Profile Albany, GA

At ASU, the master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration focuses on therapeutic communications, interventions, and evidence-based practice. Students must take 44 credits of coursework, all offered online.

Core coursework covers topics in nursing theory development, pharmacology in advanced practice nursing, and family diversity in vulnerable communities. In addition to fulfilling supervised clinical hours, each learner must also complete a thesis or research project. Toward the end of the program, students take a comprehensive exam meant to evaluate the theoretical and analytical knowledge learned throughout the degree.

Campus: Albany, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing

Tuition: $300/credit

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; at least one year of nursing experience; two recommendations; on-campus interview

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Family nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Middle Georgia State University View School Profile Macon, GA

At MGA in Macon, students can obtain a master of science in nursing with an emphasis in adult/gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. The program comprises 43 credits and 630 clinical practice hours. Although MGA offers its courses online, distance learners must visit campus for two-day immersive sessions each semester. Students can finish the program in five semesters or two years.

The courses focus on adult/gerontology acute care, but students must also complete coursework in health assessment, diagnostic reasoning, pharmacology, and quality and safety processes. Enrollees also learn how to provide nursing care in trauma units, emergency rooms, and intensive care units.

Campus: Macon, Georgia

Type: Public

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing

Tuition: $255/credit

Admission Requirements: Bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; at least one year of nursing experience; three recommendations; entrance interview; personal statement

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

On-Campus Requirements: Yes

Program: MSN - Adult/gerontology acute care nurse practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Other Nursing License Options in Georgia

Becoming a CNA or an LPN in Georgia

If you do not have 2-4 years to invest in a college degree, earning a nursing certificate or diploma can offer a quicker route to a healthcare career. Certified nursing assistant (CNA) certificates take about 12 weeks to complete, and licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs require about 12-21 months. A career as a CNA and an LPN provides the work experience needed to become an RN.

CNAs, also called nurse aides or patient care assistants, must complete 85 hours of classroom, lab, and clinical experiences to gain certification in Georgia. The Georgia Nurse Aide Program also requires that CNA applicants pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program examination administered by Pearson VUE. Exam locations can be found throughout Georgia.

Georgia CNA Requirements:

  • Education: CNA certificate
  • Exams: National Nurse Aide Assessment Program examination
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continued Education: Work under supervision for at least eight hours within two years

Georgia LPN Licensure Requirements:

  • Education: Diploma in practical nursing from a board-approved program
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN exam
  • Renewal Frequency: Every year by March 31
  • Continued Education: 20 hours

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Georgia

Salaries for nurses in Georgia vary by region. RNs make a median annual wage of $75,980 in Atlanta, compared to $54,810 a year in Brunswick, for example.

Salaries vary based on the type of nursing license and specialization. Registered nurses in Georgia earn a median annual salary of $71,510. Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners make a median annual wage of $92,840-$179,630.

What nurses get paid correlates with the cost of living in their state of residence. The cost-of-living index in Georgia is 89.7, compared to the national average of 100. Hawaii has the highest cost of living with an index of 196.3. Mississippi has the lowest cost of living with an index of 84.8.

Nursing Role Median Salary Projected Job Growth
Registered Nurse $69,630 22.5%
Nurse Practitioner $104,090 41.4%
Source: BLS

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in Georgia

Top Paying Metropolitan Area (RN)
Top Paying Metropolitan Area Median Salary for RNs
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell $74,630
Augusta-Richmond County $73,120
Athens-Clarke County $70,880
Hinesville $70,570
Rome $69,320
Source: BLS
Top Paying Metropolitan Area (NP)
Top Paying Metropolitan Area Median Salary for NPs
Columbus $118,590
Atlanta-Sandy Spring-Roswell $107,090
Dalton $97,410
Macon $101,540
Warner Robins $114,170
Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the RN program in Georgia?

Full-time students graduate with an ADN in two years and a BSN in at least four years. Part-time students can earn an ADN in 3-4 years and BSN in 5-6 years. Most students take the NCLEX-RN exam about 45 days after graduating. Georgia requires RN candidates to pass the NCLEX-RN to apply for licensure. Jobs may hire applicants preliminarily pending their exam outcome.

What school has the best nursing program in Georgia?

The best nursing program depends on your career goals. Students should consider a school's reputation, NCLEX-RN pass rates, tuition prices, accreditation, and acceptance rates. Quality nursing programs also hold accreditation from the ACEN or CCNE.

Nursing schools in Georgia programs—including individual ADN, BSN, MSN, and DNP programs—also need Georgia Board of Nursing approval. Colleges, such as Albany State University, Columbus State University, Emory University, Georgia College and State University, and Georgia State University offer board-approved nursing programs.

What are the requirements to be a school nurse in Georgia?

The state has more than 1,600 licensed school nurses who provide direct care to students and staff. School nurses promote health and wellness and oversee screenings. They work for school districts, health departments, and hospitals.

School nurses in Georgia must hold a BSN from an accredited nursing school, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, hold a Georgia license, and a CPR certificate. Some employers may accept applicants who hold an ADN and have at least one year of public health nursing experience.


Nursing in Surrounding States

State

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